Who Let The Dogs Out at the Chicago Auto Show?
For the second year in a row, the Chicago Auto Show was invaded by an assortment of furry, four-legged friends as the Bark Buckle Up campaign announced its Pet Safe Choice Awards. An adorable group of canines was also in attendance, demonstrating skills they'd learned after graduating from the American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. program and modeling select pet travel/safety products.
Bark Buckle Up is dedicated to pet travel safety, and as the leader in pet safety education travels the country to work closely with first responders, safety experts, and pet industry leaders to educate and promote awareness for pet safety while traveling with our pets. The recognized leader and experts for pet travel safety, Bark Buckle Up announced the Pet Safe Vehicle, Hotel, Airline, and Retailer of Choice awards in a presentation of the center stage at the Chicago Auto Show. The Pet Safe Awards are earned by premium products and services each year and are tested and selected by judges including first responders, pet experts, safety, and travel experts.
So who won? Here are the 2009 Bark Buckle Up Pet Safe Awards Winners:
Pet Safe Vehicle of Choice: GMC Acadia
Pet Safe Hotel of Choice: Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Pet Safe Airline of Choice: American Airlines
Pet Safe Retailer of Choice: PetSmart
More then a dozen graduate dogs and adorable puppies from the American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. program were invited to demonstrate a variety of dog safety products presented at the 2009 Bark Buckle Up Pet Safe Awards. Besides the special doggy guests, the presentation also featured special first responders Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez and Fire Chief John Schuldt; distinctive executives Christina Selter Pet Safety Expert-Bark Buckle Up; Cheryl Catton Executive Director of Advertising & Promotion, Buick, Pontiac & GMC; Robert Allegrini Vice President Communications, The Americas Hilton Hotels Corporation; and Judi Gorman Manager Sales Promotions & Community Relations, American Airlines.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, "Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but the cost for not wearing one certainly will." During the summer of 2008, Bark Buckle Up met with the NHTSA Occupant Safety Division and International Police Chiefs Association Occupant Safety Conference to discuss the necessity to secure pets during travel. Not just for our pets' safety, but the passenger, driver, and our first responders.
Would you drive with a baby on your lap or laying on a seat? Then why would you drive and allow your beloved pet to be unrestrained in the vehicle? In a car crash, an unrestrained pet can be seriously injured, but that pet can also injure human passengers or first responders such as firemen. Equally dangerous is the fact that an unrestrained, frightened, or injured pet can escape from a wrecked car and cause another collision or bite people offering assistance nearby. If you are rendered unconscious in an accident, you would be unable to call or calm your pet!
Did You Know?
- In a 30-mph accident a 60-pound pet can become a flying projectile with an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield, or other passengers.
- Pet travel has increased 300% since 2005, 82% of dogs travel in the car and on vacation
- 98% of dogs travel unrestrained in a moving vehicle. (Traffic Safety Evaluation Guide)
- 63% of US households - 71.1 million homes - have a pet. (APPMA)
- 50% of dog owners consider pet travel needs when selecting a vehicle. (APPMA)
National safety statistics definitely show the number of pets traveling in vehicles is now at an all-time high. As most animals travel unrestrained, the corresponding risk to vehicle occupants, pets, and first responders called to an accident site is of growing concern. For first responders called to render aid, the challenge of securing a frightened or injured animal before treating victims can be of equal concern. It only takes a few minutes to safeguard your pet's safety by buckling them up. Accidents do happen, and you owe it to your beloved pet to protect it against possible injury.
How the Awards Were Chosen:
GMC Acadia has received multiple safety awards, including the IIHS top safety pick award, and NHSTA five-star crash safety rating. Standard safety features include six standard air bags to protect passengers in the three rows, OnStar, and touch screen navigation system. Privacy glass, a large power-operated sun shade, and trizone automatic climate control help cut heat and glare on hot summer days. A second-row smart slide seating system and remote power rear lift gate provides easy access to the third row bench seat which allows plenty of room for your furry friends, whether buckled in or utilizing a crate system. Those third-row seats also fold into the floor for added cargo flexibility.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts launched its "Pet Friendly" program in 2008 to help make traveling with pets easier. Pets are welcome at more than 500 Hilton Hotels & Resorts throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally. At check-in, pet owners will receive a travel tote filled with tasty organic treats, pocket-size packet of bio-degradable waste bags, and a travel-sized bottle of disinfectant, deodorizer, and one-step cleaner for pet stains and smells. In-room amenities include Hilton's Crypton Clean Pet Pillow designed by William Wegman, two Hilton pet bowls, and a placemat. Plus, to make your pet's stay extra special, their concierge desk will have a list of local pet services available, which may include walking trails, grooming services, plus tips from Pet Shelters Across America.
American Airlines serves 250 cities in 40 countries with more than 3,400 daily flights and a fleet that numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's Web site, AA.com, offers a detailed pet policy providing the answers to many common questions regarding the safe transportation of pets, including information about temperature restrictions, health requirements, and kennel requirements.
PetSmart has more than 1,075 stores in the United States and Canada, making them the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets and providing the largest selection of pet travel and safety gear available to the public. PetSmart promises to offer the broadest, deepest product range in the industry, including thousands of products exclusive to PetSmart, and says they are constantly on the prowl for innovative new products that can help our pet parents raise safe, happy pets.
If you are a pet owner, you can find out lots more tips and information about your pet's travel safety at BarkBuckleUp.com. Pet lovers should sign up for their newsletter to be notified of their special events, as well as the latest in Bark Buckle Up recognized pet safety gear!